Year ten pupils Olivia and Issy were Greenbank’s representatives on the government funded University College of London Battlefields Tour, earlier this month. We travelled to Belgium and France to remember those that sacrificed so much in World War One and to further the legacy of remembrance in Greenbank.
On the tour, the pupils visited battlefield sites such as Newfoundland and Neuve Chapelle. As well as this, they went to museums on key battles of the war, such as Memorial Museum Passchendaele, to experience the layout of a trench. By visiting Commonwealth Cemeteries it highlighted why it is known as a world war due the involvement of so many countries such as India, Canada and New Zealand. Additionally, a very poignant moment of the tour was the visit to the Menin Gate to witness the Last Post. The Menin Gate is the entrance to Ypres and this was the route thousands of soldiers took, to reach the front line.
The tour has added to the pupils understanding of trench war fare and medical developments in the conflict, which closely links to their History GCSE. They are eager to pass on their knowledge and to remember the sacrifice of those who fought in World War One. Both Issy and Olivia have found this trip extremely humbling, below is their personal account of the trip.
“At the beginning of November we went on a life changing battlefields tour in France and Belgium. Over the packed four days, our understanding of World War One changed drastically. As a result of the visits to cemeteries, information centres and museums our appreciation and understanding for the soldiers who fought for us, became even greater. Throughout the whole experience, we felt extreme empathy for the soldiers as the crisp air surrounded us whilst we walked through the trenches of the Battle of the Somme and muddy fields of Ypres. On top of this, during a research activity we actually found out about a soldier from Southport named William German. We dedicated a tribute to him at the Tyne Cot memorial with a remembrance cross which was very emotional for us, as we saw his name printed on a panel of the missing. From this opportunity, we hope to keep Remembrance alive at Greenbank, by enriching other people with our experiences and ensuring that honouring our warriors of war is not just once a year.”